Hodge pulls out of mayoral race to see to ‘unfinished business’ in Barking

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:00 06 February 2015

Margaret Hodge bowed out of the race for London Mayor saying she wants to focus her efforts on Barking and Dagenham

Margaret Hodge bowed out of the race for London Mayor saying she wants to focus her efforts on Barking and Dagenham

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Staying loyal to the borough Margaret Hodge said there’s too much “unfinished business” in Barking and Dagenham for her to compete in the battle for London Mayor.

The MP, who has represented Barking for the past 20 years, had been touted as a potential candidate before bowing out of the race on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Post she said she wanted to carry on reestablishing pride in the borough, adding: “I feel there’s so much more to do in Barking and Dagenham.

“We’ve got a new leadership on the council now and there’s huge challenges around getting houses built.

“I feel like there’s unfinished business here I really want to see through and that was really part of my motivation, there’s lots more left to do.”

Mrs Hodge said she’s been thinking of ruling herself out as a candidate since October last year.

The 70-year-old also wants to focus on her role as a combative Public Accounts Committee chair - where her interrogations have made chief executives squirm in their seats.

“In parliament I’ve learnt so much in the last four or five years about how to provide better value for money,” she said.

“I want to put that to good use. It’s going to be a really difficult time for public spending and I’d rather make a contribution here - whatever happens in the general election.”

She urged the party to chose a non-white Mayor, calling for the nomination of an ethnic minority candidate.

Ex-minister David Lammy and shadow justice Sadiq Khan have both declared their intent to run alongside Dame Tessa Jowell and transport journalist, Christian Wolmar.

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